Are you looking forward to the holidays or is it more a dreading of the pies and the family get-togethers? Well, if the latter, what can you do now to prepare and make this year's festivities great and enjoyable ones? I don't know about you, but I roll my eyes at the Santas adorning the shop shelves in August. That's just way too soon to be thinking about that stuff. But now... we're in November already, and time flies, so six weeks of preparations for the holidays might just be what could keep you (and me!) sane this year. (this is not even counting the US Thanksgiving, cos that's in 20-days' time. ;-))
How about writing a couple of Christmas cards every night so by the time you have to mail them they're ready to go? Same if you're an e-mail sender - they can be stored in the "drafts" section of your provider and be sent whenever you want to send them. I already picked out some funny e-cards to write my wishes on, copy-pasting the actual text will take no time at all once I have all the addresses sorted.
And for the last-minute shoppers among us - you know how frenzied it gets on Christmas eve, why, seriously, why aren't you getting the gifts tomorrow while strolling through the mall? You don't even have to get all of them, just the one for your partner, or your parents, or your friend. And the day after you can get the next one, on your way home from work.
What about food, do you have to cook the dinner for a big group? Is there a way you could contact your butcher and pre-order whatever piece you need so you can just go pick it up when the time comes? Or can you buy it now and freeze it? Plus, in the spirit of sharing (the workload), do you really have to do everything yourself, or can Aunt Mae bring the pie and your brother prepares the salad? Or maybe you'd like to flee this year altogether and take a vacation - have you already looked at flights and hotel availabilities?
We've touched on this before, it's the same concept: taking one big thing and breaking it down into smaller pieces, so it won't hit you all at once. And there's plenty you can do now to make the holidays more relaxed for you and your loved ones. Besides, it's all about friends and family really, isn' it. Not about how many presents or the size of turkeys. Get together with people you love, hug 'em and enjoy having them around. That's the best present ever.
Have fun and a great time preparing; this year nothing will stress you out if you don't want it to.
Til next time!
PS - you know what makes a great gift? Coaching vouchers! ;-)
Image by Andy Castro, Flickr, Creative Commons License.